Foster STEM Magnet Program

  • The STEM Magnet Program at Stephen Foster offers a comprehensive hands-on curriculum that integrates Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math in a real-world context.  Students apply the engineering design process to STEM challenges that are integrated into the mathematics and science curriculum emphasizing problem solving, data analysis, and higher order thinking. 

    Highlights/Expectations of the Program

    • STEM Lab with full-time STEM teacher
    • Instructional technology including interactive white board, document cameras, desktop computers for student use, etc.
    • Laptops for student use
    • Above-level placement in core academics as needed to meet individual needs
    • Cooperative and project-based learning opportunities with academically motivated students
    • Transporation provided by the district
    • Fieldtrips tied to the curriculum which may include Physics Day at Busch Gardens, Sea World, St. Augustine Beach, the Jacksonville Zoo, and others
    • 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grades

STEM Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where is Stephen Foster located?

    • We are located at the intersection of NW 6th St. and NW 39th Ave.

    Will transportation be provided?

    • Transportation is available to students living more than two miles from the school.

    Is after-school care available?

    • Yes. Call the Extended Day Enrichment Office at 955-7766 for information.

    What are the average class sizes?

    • Grade 3 - 18 students per class.
    • Grades 4 and 5 - 22 students per class

    How are students' instructional levels determined?

    • All placement decisions are made based on data. Placement tests, benchmark tests, and district assessment will be used in determining the students' instructional level for language arts and mathematics.

    Do we have to reapply every year?

    • No. Students who maintain good grades (at least 3.0 GPA), attendance and behavior automatically roll up to the next grade. We will survey parents in the spring to ascertain whether the student will return in order to prepare for any new applicants. 

    What extracurricular activities are available to students?

    • Various student interest clubs, such as Robotics Club, Percussion and tentatively a Chess Club.
    • Safety Patrol (5th grade)

    Are there any costs associated with attending the magnet?

    • There are no costs above those normally expected of parents (Paper, pencil, binders, occasional field trip fees, etc.)

    Is there a program for siblings of magnet students?

    • We welcome all siblings of the students in the STEM Magnet at Stephen Foster Elementary. Siblings who are out of zone my apply for school choice or a zoning exemption.  At the end of 2nd grade, siblings may be invited to apply to the magnet if they meet initial selection criteria. For more information about zoning, please go to the Zoning webpage.

Program Rules

  • I understand that a student’s participation in a magnet program is a privilege. The authorization to remain in a program, once accepted, requires strict adherence to the Student Code of Conduct. Acceptance in a magnet program equates to a zoning exception to participate in that program, even if the student is zoned to attend that school by address. The principal reserves the right to revoke a student’s participation in a magnet program and return the student to their zoned school (or in that school’s general program if the student is zoned to attend that school by their address) upon violations that meet the language in the Student Code of Conduct and/or the Board Policy 5120.04 that may result in revocation.

    Please review the following requirements for our elementary magnet programs:
    • Academics - Maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.5.
    • Behavior - Maintain appropriate behavior as defined by the Alachua County Public Schools’ Code of Student Conduct.
    • Attendance - Maintain appropriate attendance as defined by the Alachua County Public Schools’ Code of Student Conduct.
    • Tardy Policy - Maintain on-time attendance. Five or more tardies per nine weeks is considered excessive.
    • Parent Involvement - Parent involvement is encouraged through parent/teacher conferences, chaperoning field trips, volunteering at school, and various other activities.

    Parents will affirm the following on the application during the application process
    Parent/Guardian, by initialing, I confirm that I understand that each magnet/academy may have additional requirements to remain in good standing and remain in the program. These requirements may include but are not limited to a "Fair Share" amount, participation in a student organization, and specific academic and/or behavior requirements. *
    Parent/Guardian, by initialing I understand that if any events occur following application, seat offering and/or acceptance to attend a magnet program that would have made the student ineligible, the opportunity to participate may be revoked, even if the seat has already been accepted. *

Application Process

  • Magnet Applications will open January 16, 2024! 



Magnet Application Timeline

  • Magnet Application Process


    Join us for our Magnet Open House on Monday, January 29th, from 6:00-7:00 pm!

    Applications for the 2024-2025 school year will open January 16, 2024, and close at 4:00 p.m. on February 13, 2024. You must have the application completed by 4:00 on that day to be considered for the first round of review. Any applications after that time will be processed as a late application


    Magnet Application Timeline


    Online Application is available via a link on The open house schedule, as well as links to all programs, are also on that site.

    If you have program specific questions, please contact us at the school. For general questions, please contact the district magnet office by emailing or by calling352-955-7121




Extracurricular Activities

  • Students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of clubs.  Our clubs change based on the needs and interests of our current students.  This year we offer the following clubs:

            • STEM Club
            • Book Buddies Club
            • Math Club
            • Chess Club
            • Robotics Club
            • Maker's Space
            • Media Club
            • Yearbook Club

    Additionally, fourth and fifth-grade students may qualify for membership in the National Elementary Honor Society.  For more information regarding clubs at Stephen Foster please contact the school at (352) 955-6706.

What is a STEM Challenge?

2023-2024 STEM Magnet Teachers


    STEM Lab Teacher
    Julia Gatson

    Third Grade
    Mrs. Jones

    Fourth Grade
    Mrs. Patrick
    Mrs. Collins

    Fifth Grade
    Ms. Wenzell